The holy grail for most businesses is to become so huge on a social media platform that most of your work is done for you. Can you imagine what it’s like to have your posts shared by your followers without your asking, or to see consistent growth with little effort on your part? Oh man, is that the dream or what!
The problem is that being popular on any platform, including Instagram, can’t happen without a solid plan in place. The actual putting together of the plan isn’t difficult, but the follow-through can be, especially once you get over the hurdles that come with creating a content plan.
And while I wish I could help you build the discipline that comes with creating a consistent strategy, that part falls on you I’m afraid. Believe me, I’m all too familiar with avoiding putting the work in and having a surprised Pikachu face when my engagement rates drop. I know it’s a difficult climb, but at least we can cover the groundwork together to set you up for success right now.
How to Be Popular on Instagram
So let’s break down what it’s going to take for your business to be popular on Instagram and how you can reach a massive, engaged following:
1. Post Regularly
There’s no way to avoid this, I’m afraid. It’s going to be the hardest point here to overcome but if you front-load your content as much as you can and using a scheduler, it’s not as difficult as you might think. I use Planoly to help me schedule my content and definitely recommend them! If you need help thinking of things to post, I wrote a whole series about content ideas for different social media platforms including Instagram and Pinterest.
Statistically if you’re looking to increase engagement, then you’re going to want to create as much “low hanging fruit” as possible. Creating carousel posts is an easy way to up your engagement rate as people will naturally scroll through those posts, which Instagram counts as separate engagement points.
3. Engage Your Ideal Audience
You can’t create a successful brand on Instagram in a vacuum, you’re going to have to spend time doing outreach and commenting on others accounts to spread the word. Gary Vee has a great $1.80 strategy that can help you create an engagement plan without feeling like you’re spending all day on Instagram.
4. Utilize Stories
Like carousels, Stories are an easy way to foster engagement and get more eyeballs on your brand. One quick tip is to not forget to have hashtags and locations in your Stories to help get more views. The recommended number of hashtags for a story is usually no more than 3.
5. Change Up Your Hashtags
Instagram has said they will consider accounts that use the same hashtags over and over as spamming and may throttle your views, so it’s absolutely critical that you keep a fresh rotation of hashtags around, and it’s good practice to keep trying new hashtags out anyhow! Planoly has a hashtag feature where you can store different sets of hashtags and paste them into your posts but most other schedulers will have a similar feature.
6. Stop Looking at the Numbers
Don’t fret over vanity metrics like the number of followers you have. Having 250k followers and 5 comments per post isn’t going to do you any favors, especially if you’re a business or brand that wants to establish collaboration partnerships. I know it’s easier said than done, but you’ve got to focus on the stats that matter, not the vanity numbers. It’s one of the reasons I’ve made it an active step in my social media plan to cull the number of followers I have so that I can have a better engagement rate.
The #1 tip I can give you in all of this, though, is to make sure your content is consistent, as none of this works without establishing a routine to send out content to followers who have an expectation of when you’ll post. So start there and work your way through these other steps and I promise that you’ll start seeing results!